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Punjab » Community

Posted at: Apr 21, 2017, 2:13 AM; last updated: Apr 21, 2017, 10:04 AM (IST)

SGPC welcomes Sajjan; denied access, hardliners raise slogans

GS Paul

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 20

Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan paid obeisance at the Golden Temple here today, even as SGPC chief Kirpal Singh Badungar welcomed him.

Apparently, to discourage the participation of Sikh radical organisations, the minister’s visit was advanced by two hours. However, some of their representatives reached the Golden Temple plaza well in advance. They were kept at bay, though there was a scuffle between them and the SGPC task force later. 

Sajjan reached the holy shrine shortly after 6 am and remained there for an hour amid tight security. He listened to the hymns for more than 20 minutes, took a round of the complex and spent around 15 minutes inside the sanctum sanctorum.

He offered parshad at the shrine and was honoured with a siropa (robe of honour) by the head priest of the shrine Giani Jagtar Singh.

He also paid obeisance at Akal Takht, where its Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh greeted him. As he headed towards tents, specially pitched by the SGPC for his reception, the “Khalisthan sympathisers” raised slogans. 

There was a minor clash between SAD (Amritsar) members and the SGPC task force when they tried to gain access to hand over a memorandum to Sajjan. Jarnail Singh Sakhira, general secretary, SAD (A), claimed to have received bruises on his hand.

Sajjan was honoured as per maryada by the SGPC president. He was presented with Siri Sahib (a replica of a sword), a silver model of the Golden Temple, a specially crafted silver plate and a set of religious books.

Given the protocol, he refrained from interacting with the media. SGPC chief Badungar said, “It was a proud moment for the Sikh community to honour Sajjanji. He has contributed immensely to establish the identification of Sikhs.”


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